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Salsa Chicken Potato “Casserole”

January 7, 2011

Ok, so this is not the prettiest of all meals I have posted here. It actually kind of looks like a mess. A mess of ooey gooey cheesy chicken potato goodness that is. Messy or not, can I just say – this was fricken good. So let’s not judge.

Salsa Chicken Potato “Casserole”

Have I mentioned that over Christmas at my husband’s parents farm, I did absolutely NOTHING for five whole days? Actually, let me rephrase, here is what I did (in no particular order): sleep, eat, played iPhone games (Tap Tap Revenge 4 anyone?), beat my husband at scrabble and layed on the couch. It was beautiful. Now it wasn’t all fun and games of course. The one productive thing I did manage to get done (besides mastering the Hard level on Tap Tap Revenge, holla!), was that I flipped through a few of my mother-in-law’s bazillion cookbooks.

As soon as I saw a recipe for Salsa and Chicken Stuffed Potatoes, I immediately read it over 10 times, recited it over and over in my head, made a little song up with all the ingredients, and fully committed it to memory. Who needs an iPhone camera when  I have a perfectly working brilliant mind? I came home and set out to make my memorized meal for my wonderful hubby who I knew would cry tears of joy when this came out of the oven (he really likes potatoes, so don’t make fun), and I would be declared the best wife EVER. And then I proceeded to completely forgot it all. Except the tune of my little song. Dah, dadda dooo da. But I knew the basics (Potatoes.Chicken.Salsa.Stuffed… not too difficult!), so I thought I would make it up based on the premise – isn’t that what real cooking is anyway? This turned out far from being stuffed, so I decided to call it a casserole basically because it ended up being more layered than stuffed. Yeah. Don’t try stuffing yellow potatoes. Doesn’t work. They just fall to pieces (could be avoided by using russet potatoes which are sturdier and probably what the original recipe called for).

Um, fall to pieces in PERFECTION that is. This turned out a little bit messy but a lot wonderful. I honestly do not make potatoes very often (much to Kevin’s dismay), but this is a new favorite of mine. Minus the cheese, it’s actually very healthy, and if you use light cheese (like me) it’s really not too bad. Next time I’ll add a vegetable like corn or chopped red pepper for added crunch. Oh and nutrition of course. Anyway, I implore you to make this for your family one night in these chilly winter months. It’s simply that good.

Salsa Chicken Potato Casserole

Scrub 1 golden potato for each member of your family (plus a couple more for good measure – I actually made 5 small potatoes because I wanted leftovers), and poke a bunch of holes in each potato with a fork. Wrap potatoes in paper towel and microwave for 15 – 20 minutes on high. (Microwave! I know! So easy!).

Meanwhile, cook approximately 1 chicken breast (diced) per potato in a bit of olive oil over medium heat until no longer pink inside. If you’d like to add a bit of chopped onion and/or red pepper, add it to the skillet while chicken is cooking. Cover and set aside.

Once the potatoes are cooked, slice each potato lengthwise and carefully mash just slightly with a fork and some butter. I think if you use russet potatoes, you can fully mash them without the skins being damaged, but this is where I went from making stuffed potatoes to a casserole. It just didn’t work. I still mashed them a bit, and topped with the diced chicken and vegetable mixture. Top with a generous layer of salsa, and finally, a layer of grated cheese (sharp or old is best for flavor in my opinion). Mmm, green chilies would’ve make this extra yummy – next time.

Bake in 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, covered with tin foil for the first 15 minutes. Ok, so honestly, I can’t remember what temperature I baked them at or how long, but I think this is what I did. There’s that great memory at work for you. Just check them and if everything looks all hot and bubbly and delicious, you’re probably good to go! This is real cooking, remember? No need to follow exactly what I did. Riiiight.

Top with a bit of sour cream and green onions if you’d like (I was out, sadly). Then mush it all up on your plate and eat your heart out baby!

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2011 1:58 pm

    That does sound

  2. January 7, 2011 1:59 pm

    oops – I got trigger happy there.

    What I mean to say was – That does sound really good! Something warm and hearty on a cold night 🙂

  3. acanadianfoodie permalink
    January 7, 2011 3:33 pm

    What is so funny is that for many years, when the girls were young, I would have my own meal after they were in bed – and at least three times a week it would be a microwave roasted potato and salsa – and on a good night – with cheese! So, I know it IS yummy!!!
    🙂
    Valerie

  4. January 7, 2011 8:43 pm

    A super tasty “mess” 🙂 Sometimes the best meals aren’t the prettiest – this sounds super addicting!

  5. January 7, 2011 10:21 pm

    sounds amazing, but mostly I’m jealous of your 5 days of doing nothing. sigh.

  6. January 8, 2011 9:46 am

    This sounds like my kind of comforting meal! Bookmarking this for sure!

  7. Jayna permalink
    January 8, 2011 2:02 pm

    Yum!! I love potatoes too… will try this out! You are so cute – making up a song to remember the recipe, ha!!

  8. Brenda Eastveld permalink
    January 8, 2011 8:28 pm

    Hey Kristin,
    Your blog is delightful…I just happily stumbled upon it after seeing the scrumptious-looking picture of this entry on facebook. I will definitely try this recipe. I find the massive baking potatoes sold individually the best for stuffing….they have a pretty thick skin. But this “casserole” method seems pretty stellar too. 🙂

  9. January 9, 2011 5:22 pm

    Hey lady! Just gave you the Stylish Blogger Award over on my site because I think you rock! Come by and check it out – hope you’ll share 7 things with us all 🙂

  10. jenna permalink
    January 10, 2011 1:23 pm

    Holla.

  11. January 10, 2011 1:39 pm

    Ooey gooey and delicious beats out prim and pretty every time in my neck of the woods! This looks delicious and perfect for this cold weather! (Found ur blog thru AvidAppetite – enjoyed reading it very much!)

  12. Cara permalink
    January 11, 2011 2:13 pm

    Made this last night and it was VERY delicious – thank you for sharing the recipe!! It even passed the “kid” test (although one son complained about the salsa, but he tried to eat around it). I did use Russet potatoes and they stayed together pretty good. I’m always looking for new ideas so thanks again!

  13. Kim Berg permalink
    January 14, 2011 11:49 am

    I just added these ingredients to my grocery list so I can make this next week! I will let you know how it turns out, thanks for the yummy idea!

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